New Zealand-based anti-money laundering (AML) company First AML has generated $21 million in a Series B funding round, the company announced in a Tuesday (Nov. 2) press release. The round was led by Blackbird Ventures, one of the company’s earliest customers. The round also saw participation from Headline Ventures, Pushpay Founder Eliot Crowther, Bedrock Capital and Icehouse Ventures, according to the company.
In an effort to combat money laundering activities and potential security breaches, First AML digitizes the customer onboarding process, working to ensure that all reporting entities are adhering to compliance requirements.
Since the platform launched in Australia earlier this year, First AML has hired more than 15 employees locally and is on pace to hire another eight before year’s end. The investment will be allocated for doubling the staff from 90 to 180 globally by the end of 2021 as well as to expand into Europe, the announcement stated.
Milan Cooper founded First AML in 2017 along with Co-founders Bion Behdin and Chris Caigou, who worked as corporate bankers when the first phase of AML regulations was introduced for banks in 2013. The company got its start in New Zealand, but has since broadened its reach to Australia.
Underlining the need for First AML’s expansion, Cooper said the market for AML technology has grown roughly 20% in the last year to reach $214 billion.
“With groundbreaking investigations around tax havens and money laundering across multiple countries, the AML compliance regime is now shifting to non-financial businesses globally,” Cooper said. “This raise will help us scale, fueling further global expansion and product development to supercharge our network effect.”
In the U.K., banks and other financial institutions (FIs) are filing more suspicious activity reports than ever before, as PYMNTS reported. The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) noted a 16% overall increase in reports from 2017 through 2020.